Advanced Toolbox: One Level Deeper Into the Learning Toolbox

I may not have as many tools in my advanced toolbox, but these are the only ones I would really want to add to it. The other tools I’ve looked at this week did not seem to be the best thing for distance learning. Some tried to emulate a face-to-face classroom, but that’s not the direction a online class should go in. Without further ado, my advanced toolbox:

Wiki
A wiki is a fully editable page that can be used for a variety of activities and projects. Some of these include online collages with pictures from students to upload onto the page to illustrate things like government, economics, and culture. Creating a story with a section from students in a group. One student would write the first paragraph and save their work, the next student would write the second paragraph and save their work, and so on. This is powerful tool and would encourage collaboration form students.

SecondLife
The 3D environment that is SecondLife provides an a way for students to express their personality in the avatar they create and allow social interaction to occur with others. Many experiences that some students may never get a chance to see can be conducted in this digital world like field trips to far off lands and science experiments. All the things that teachers would like to do with their classroom that cannot be done due to factors outside of their own power can now be done in this online realm.

MUD
These online simulations would provide a environment for concepts to be played out in a simple game. While this tool should not be incorporated often to avoid burnout, it should be something used periodically to reinforce concepts. These simulations can increase interaction between students and learning as well.  These games would  be great for establishing perspectives in time periods like before the American Revolution and Civil War amongst the many characters such as the Native Americans, Loyalists, Patriots, Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers, and slaves.

Human Brain
This tool was in my basic toolbox and has found its way into my advanced one as well. The human brain is capable over very complex thinking, otherwise we couldn’t be teachers and manage the many factors that are required to get our students to learn. This a vital tool, probably the most important, that allows students to read information, comprehend it, apply it to a real-world setting, and retain it.

I realize that I could have added a whole lot of extra tools to my advanced toolbox like lecture-ware, audio software, and other tools, but those things are not really necessary to achieve learning. Maybe I’ll add some more things to my toolbox with the next couple of week’s blogs.

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One Response to “Advanced Toolbox: One Level Deeper Into the Learning Toolbox”

  1. I would like to suggest that, the brain, while highly useful when engaged, probably shouldn’t be in the tool box any more than an mechanic’s hands should be in his/hers.

    The implication that the body part in question might be NOT present, that is, left in the tool box while other tools are engaged is unfortunate.


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